Golf classic takes swing at juvenile diabetes

By Josette Keelor

The fourth annual Chick-fil-A Golf Classic aims to raise money toward a cure for juvenile diabetes. The golf tournament at Rock Harbor Golf Course on June 27 started four years ago when Clear Brook resident Lara Rimmel learned her 3-year-old son Will has the disease.

Rimmel said a second goal is raising awareness for a disease she said many don’t understand. Contributing to the confusion is the growing number of Americans affected by Type 2 diabetes.

“Type 1, you’re insulin dependent,” Rimmel said. “Your pancreas does not work at all … so you’re insulin dependent.”

“You have to monitor everything,” she said. “It just means taking his blood, testing himself more often. He just runs the risk of low blood sugar.”

Type 1 strikes many sufferers in their childhood, but according to Rimmel, “You can get Type 1 up to the age of 45.”

“He was very, very thirsty and was constantly going to the bathroom and had a sweet odor on his breath,” she said. “At the time my best friend, her son was Type 1 as well, so I knew the signs and I felt like … we caught it very early.”

When she contacted Chick-fil-A in Winchester, she learned the owner’s brother and nephew also had the disease. He agreed to be the main sponsor of Team Will. Malloy Ford is a co-sponsor.

This year’s event will include a morning flight at 8 a.m., beginning with breakfast and ending with lunch and awards. An afternoon flight at 1:30 p.m. will begin with lunch. Registration for both flights begins an hour before tee-off. The price is $90 before June 17 and $100 after. Teams of four pay $400.

“I think to date we’ve raised about $70,000,” Rimmel said. She said she sends the money to the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Rimmel will also participate in the Chick-fil-A Dash for Diabetes 4-Miler and Kids’ Races at Millbrook High School on Labor Day and the Virginia Walk to Cure Diabetes in Leesburg in May. She said she’s grateful to members of the foundation and other advocates who work so diligently for awareness.

“They’re all very wonderful people,” she said.

“Once he was diagnosed,” she said, “I knew that I needed to do everything I could to possibly find a cure, raise awareness.”

The Chick-fil-A Golf Classic will take place June 27 at Rock Harbor Golf Club, 365 Rock Harbor Drive, Winchester. Registration forms and information are available at www.teamwill4jdrf.com.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com